European Markets Close Slightly Lower After Surprise OPEC+ Cut; Oil and Gas Stocks Up 4%

Andrey Rudakov | Bloomberg | Getty Images

This is CNBC's live blog covering European markets.

European stock markets closed slightly lower on Monday, with oil markets in focus after a surprise production cut by the OPEC+ alliance.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 index provisionally ended down 0.1% after trading flat through the afternoon.

The oil and gas sector was up 4% as Brent crude futures and U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures surged. It follows OPEC+ agreeing to tighten global oil production by an additional 1.16 million barrels per day until the end of 2023.

Banks also saw gains, ending the day 0.6% higher as markets look to move past the turbulent first quarter.

However, all other sectors were in negative territory, with financial services down 1.4% and mining stocks down 1.3%.

Asia-Pacific markets were mainly higher on Monday, but U.S stocks fell in morning trade as investors digested what the spike in oil prices may mean for the economy.

European stock markets close lower

Europe's Stoxx 600 index provisionally ended Monday's session 0.1% lower as investors unpacked the rise in oil prices, the inflationary and economic outlook and company prospects at the start of the new quarter.

Germany's DAX index fell 0.3%, France's CAC 40 was up 0.3% and a 4% rise in oil and gas stocks took the U.K.'s energy-heavy FTSE 100 index to a 0.5% gain.

— Jenni Reid

Sterling and euro climb against U.S. dollar

The British pound traded up 0.6% against the U.S. dollar at $1.2409 at 3:30 p.m. London time.

Meanwhile, the euro was trading up 0.6% at $1.0907.

The dollar initially rose against major currencies after the surprise announcement on Sunday of output target cuts by OPEC+ members. The move intensified inflation fears and increased investor bets on the Federal Reserve remaining hawkish for longer.

However, the greenback has weakened through the day, also declining against the yen and Swiss franc.

"The knee-jerk reaction is fading as markets pivot back toward the deeper disinflationary fundamentals that are likely to drive the monetary policy outlook," said Karl Schamotta, chief market strategist at Corpay, according to Reuters.

"Central banks are thought likely to stay focused on growth, employment, and core inflation measures, which reflect energy prices at a long lag, so market-implied odds on rate cuts are reverting toward pre-production cut levels. Rate differentials are correspondingly turning back against the dollar."

— Jenni Reid

Indicators suggest risk-on momentum will continue, strategist says

Max Kettner, chief multi-asset strategist at HSBC, discusses the market outlook and why current investor confusion gives risk assets further upside.

Stocks on the move: Oil and gas top gainers; Man Group slips 5.5%

Oil and gas firms remained at the top of the Stoxx 600 index in afternoon trade after oil prices rose on news of OPEC+ production cuts.

The U.K.'s Harbour Energy was up by 7.7%, while Portugal's Galp Energia gained 6.4%. Shares of TotalEnergies, Shell, BP and Siemens Energy were all trading higher.

At the other end of the Stoxx 600 index, investment management firm Man Group was down 5.5%. BNP Paribas' equity research firm Exane cut the stock from "neutral" to "underperform," saying earnings look vulnerable.

— Jenni Reid

S&P 500 and Nasdaq slide at the open

The S&P 500 fell marginally to start the session, while the Nasdaq Composite dipped 0.4%. The Dow, meanwhile, rose 103 points.

— Fred Imbert

More persistent inflation might be an unintended consequence of banking turmoil: Investec

Roger Lee, head of U.K. equity strategy at Investec, explains how inflation could be impacted by the recent turmoil in the banking sector and compares the situation to 1998.

CNBC Pro: Want to ride higher oil prices? Analysts love these stocks, giving one over 160% upside

OPEC+ oil producers have announced output cuts of around 1.16 million barrels a day, sending oil prices spiking on Monday and analysts raising their price forecasts.

The surprise cut in production could boost oil prices to $100 and beyond, analysts say.

CNBC Pro screened for oil and gas stocks with further upside and a high buy rating.

CNBC Pro subscribers can read more here.

— Weizhen Tan

UBS shares fall 2% after job cut reports

Shares of UBS fell 2.2% in early trading following reports the bank could make hefty job cuts as part of its Credit Suisse takeover.

Up to 30,000 jobs are at risk across both banks, according to a report by Swiss daily newspaper Tages-Anzeiger, as translated by CNBC.

The report cited one unnamed senior UBS manager as the source of the information. UBS declined to comment on the report when contacted by CNBC.

It comes after the Swiss banking giant agreed to buy its rival Credit Suisse for 3 billion Swiss francs ($3.2 billion) on March 19.

— Hannah Ward-Glenton

Cineworld shares down 20% after failing to find buyer

Shares of Cineworld were down 20% around 9.30 a.m. London time after the British cinema operator said it would no longer put its U.S., U.K. and Ireland-based businesses up for sale.

Cineworld was unable to find a buyer for the group after the majority of the business was placed under bankruptcy protection in September as it struggled to rein in huge debt.

The company said it had proposed a restructuring deal with lenders to reduce debt by around $4.53 billion.

Shares plummeted as much as 35% on the news, as reported by Reuters.

— Hannah Ward-Glenton

Oil and gas companies lead gains; sector up 3.8%

Oil and gas companies topped the Stoxx 600 index in early trading after OPEC+ announced surprise oil supply cuts Sunday.

Scotland-based Harbour Energy led the pack with a 6.8% uptick, followed by Portugal's Galp Energia, which was up 5.2%. The eight companies with the biggest increases were all oil and gas-based, including energy giants BP and Shell, which both gained more than 4%.

The oil and gas sector as a whole was up 3.8%.

— Hannah Ward-Glenton

Oil futures surge at open after OPEC announces surprise cut

Oil futures surged as much as 8% at the open after OPEC+ members announced to cut a total of more than 1 million barrels per day to extend through the end of 2023.

Brent crude futures last rose 5.98% to $84.67 a barrel and U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures (WTI) jumped 6.04% to $80.24 a barrel.

This comes after oil prices rebounded last week and saw a week-to-date gain of more than 9%.

The latest announcement is an "an unwelcome start to the new week for risk markets and policymakers still dealing with sticky inflation and the fallout of the recent banking crisis," IG's Tony Sycamore said in a Monday note.

National Australia Bank added that the unexpected announcement will likely add pressure to European economies, where core inflation rose slightly last month.

— Jihye Lee

CNBC Pro: Goldman and others are bullish on copper. Here are some stock ideas that analysts love

The demand surge in metals such as copper, nickel and lithium "has only just begun," according to Goldman Sachs.

Demand for copper in particular is set to rise to 17% of total demand for so-called green metals by 2030, according to the bank, from 7% currently.

For those considering buying into copper, CNBC Pro screened for stocks in the Global X Copper Miners ETF as well as the Sprott Junior Copper Miners ETF.

CNBC Pro subscribers can read more here.

— Weizhen Tan

Analysts warn of $95 per barrel and above following OPEC+ output cuts

Analysts are forecasting as much as 20% upside to oil prices following OPEC's surprise output cuts of 1.16 million barrels per day.

"OPEC+'s plan for a further production cut may push oil prices toward the $100 mark again, considering China's reopening and Russia's output cuts as a retaliation move against western sanctions," CMC Markets' analyst Tina Teng told CNBC.

In October last year, the oil cartel announced its decision to cut output by two million barrels per day.

"However, unlike [the cut in October], the momentum for global oil demand is up, not down with a strong China recovery," Goldman Sachs said in a note.

That could nudge up Goldman's Brent forecasts by $5 per barrel to $95 per barrel for December 2023, the investment bank said in a note after the surprise decision overnight.

—Lee Ying Shan

CNBC Pro: Here's what history indicates is in store for U.S. and global stocks in April

Stock markets appear to have survived March after a scare from the banking sector.

The S&P 500 gained 3.5% and the MSCI World Index rose 2.8% in March, despite dropping in the first half of the month after Silicon Valley Bank was shut in the U.S. and Credit Suisse had to be rescued in Europe.

So where does the market go from here?

CNBC Pro subscribers can read more about how stocks tend to perform in April, according to history.

— Ganesh Rao

Gold on pace for best month since 2020

Gold is on pace to post a monthly price gain that hasn't been seen in more than two years.

With just Friday's session left in the March trading month, gold is on pace to finish 9% higher. That would be its best monthly performance since July 2020, when the metal rallied 10.3%

If a Friday selloff pushes its monthly advance below 7.8%, March would instead become the metal's best month since May 2021.

Gold prices were steady early Friday.

— Alex Harring, Gina Francolla

European markets: Here are the opening calls

European markets are heading for a mixed open Monday.

The U.K.'s FTSE 100 index is expected to open 13 points higher at 7,651, Germany's DAX 26 points lower at 15,614, France's CAC up 3 points at 7,331 and Italy's FTSE MIB 49 points lower at 26,590, according to data from IG.

Data releases include new car registration figures for Spain and the U.K. in March and Swiss inflation figures for the same month.

— Holly Ellyatt

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